This dilemma is exactly what is tackled in DynoPunk, a sci-fi, visual novel-type game. Developed by Tomato Fantasy Games and published by 101XP, DynoPunk is a fantastic game with stunning visuals, an enthralling plot, and a diverse soundtrack. Despite this, DynoPunk has very simple gameplay, which while enjoyable, might turn some players away from this otherwise fantastic experience.
Welcome to Synth City
DynoPunk takes place in an alternate reality where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs never hit the earth, and thus the dinosaurs evolved and created a civilization more advanced than ours. Similarly, the dinosaurs act like humans, each with their personalities, jobs, and ambitions. The plot centers around Chris, the player character and the last tyrannosaur on Earth, moving to Synth City and opening a repair shop. It is quickly discovered that repair shops will soon be outlawed to push new device sales. Furthermore, after the repair shop’s grand opening, he finds blueprints on how to build a time machine. So, Chris decides to use his newly opened repair shop to fund the building of the time machine so he can save the tyrannosaurs from extinction.
The plot of DynoPunk is fantastic. I was glued to the screen, wanting to know what happens next. While it’s a simple premise, as the story progresses you will find more complex themes within the game. Furthermore, you will be able to influence the actions of your clients, which even affects the main story. Additionally, there are multiple endings for each of the cast members, making every decision you make impactful. I was also entertained by the many jokes and references this game created. This story is enjoyable from start to finish and left me wanting more.
Repair Gadgets and Gizmos
As stated earlier the gameplay of DynoPunk is quite simple, however, it is still enjoyable despite that. The gameplay is divided into two sections, repairing gadgets and talking to clients. Repairing gadgets is quite simple. It has you investigating the issue and then installing the correct module onto the device. Occasionally, you will be asked to prank your clients. This will hurt your relationship with them, however, you will earn more money by pranking them. Money can be used to buy new tools, upgrades for your shop, or parts for your time machine. I found these sections of the game to be quite enjoyable.
The other portion of gameplay involves talking to your clients, to influence their moods and their decisions. By influencing their mood, you can change the ending each of the characters will receive, making it feel like your choices have weight. You will meet many different characters, each having different moods, which you can sway. By doing this, you will typically gain more money which you can use to further upgrade your store. While this gameplay type is not complex, it’s interesting to see the growth of each character adding to the already engaging story.
Cyberpunk beats to relax/study to
DynoPunk is gorgeous. The cyberpunk aesthetic can be seen throughout the whole game and it looks fantastic. The sprite work is also amazing featuring expressive character portraits. While all that is impressive, it compares little to the fantastic lo-fi soundtrack. There are a variety of songs to unlock and all of them are a treat to listen to. This fantastic soundtrack works especially well with gameplay as it is great background noise while you are figuring out how to fix each device. However, this does not include the vocal tracks. While the vocal tracks are good, I found them to be distracting. Overall the presentation of DynoPunk is fantastic.
DynoPunk, The Hero We Deserve
Despite straightforward gameplay, DynoPunk is an incredible game. The game’s branching pathways, fantastic story, and extraordinary visuals immersed me in the world of this game. It is tough to fault this game as it is entertaining throughout the entire runtime. If you are interested in playing this game, there is a demo version which can be found here and if you want the full game, you can find it here.